He’s a god.
In his five short weeks of life, Orbit hasn’t met many other owls.
So he isn’t at all worried that his new best friend doesn’t hoot back.
The orphaned chick is perfectly content in the company of the stuffed bird perched next to him and is never far from his side.
Orbit, a common barn owl, was given the toy by Lyndsey Wood, his carer at Folly Farm, near Narberth in West Wales.
She said: ‘A friend suggested that I find something like a toy owl to stop Orbit feeling lonely.
‘I thought he might try to eat it, but he just cuddles up to it and goes to sleep.’
leave the sheets as you abandon them,
Keep the last kiss you give me,
silent, rough with yearning.
Hold the darkness of night as we talk,
the blacks, whites of stars. Forever.
Won’t eat to keep you in my mouth
or drink to have you there, in my throat.
I’ll let the room remain still, not stagnant
but fostering it all. Growing.
Daylight would smash it all.
This is a poem by my friend Mr Max Wallis. He’s a fantastic writer of both poetry and prose and is approaching the task of writing a little something for us all to enjoy everyday with an aptitude and enthusiasm which I find quite incredible.
With so evident a talent, I don’t think it will be too long before he starts to get the recognition he deserves.
Good luck Max. :)
As you might expect from a family with seven cats, we’ve also been a little eccentric in naming them and ended up developing a tradition of using names from Shakespeare. Obviously you’d seem a bit ridiculous, not to mention pretentious, calling Corolianus, Ophelia and Marvolio for their supper, so, naturally, some have been shortened.
For those of you who haven’t yet been lucky enough to meet our cats, otherwise known as The Band of Shakespearean Moggies, we thought we’d write you a little introduction:
First came Cassie, or, more properly, Cassandra (from Troilus and Cressida) who is the old lady of the house - apart from Mother. Just like the Trojans ignore the maddened prophetess of the play, we’ve learnt not to pay her much attention since she spends most of her time wailing about nothing - again, not unlike Mother.
Then came Cleo, undoubtedly the Queen of the household and every bit as pampered as her namesake, Cleopatra (of Antony and Cleopatra). She presides as a sort of tyrannical matriarch over the rest of the cats keeping them firmly in line and out of her private quarters. She accepts nothing less than the best but doesn’t bathe in milk so much as drink it.
The next to enter the household was Fatty who quickly proved himself quite as popular with the younger cats as Sir John Falstaff (from The Merry Wives of Windsor) with his band of followers. Although large, jovial and decidedly good-natured, if a little stupid, he does not in other ways bear great resemblance to his namesake, but does share certain important characteristics. He also happens to share the same respect for Cleo’s authority as Falstaff had for his king.
Simba, often called by her full name Cymbeline, was our next cat, though we realised our error in naming her after the King Cunobelinus of the Catuvellauni once she had had a litter of kittens. As a result, she does not bear any great resemblance to the King after whom she was named.
On the other hand, Perdie, also often called by her full name Perdita, lives up to every quality found in the young Princess of The Winter’s Tale and is the epitome of her own name (which translates indirectly from Latin as ‘the lost girl’). Small, pretty and slight, she likes to be by herself and often wanders off for long bursts at a time, and in the past has brought home unwanted gifts, several kittens for example.
Our next cat is Nym, known previously as Runty due to his diminutive form and his being the runt of Perdita’s litter. Since we thought it would be cruel to call him Runty forever, we have now chosen Nym, another character from The Merry Wives of Windsor and a faithful follower of Falstaff. This is fitting, since Fatty is his idol in the house and he copies most things he does.
Lastly, we have Tiny whom we’ve recently christened Titania, named for the Queen of the Fairies in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She fits this name perfectly as she is small and delicate, loves the garden and has a certain whimsicality to her.
Now you all know just how strange the Grealis family is and just how strange our cats are
Exit, pursued by a bear.
“Well I have sown untidy furrows across my soul but I am still a coward,
content to see my garden grow so sweet and full of someone else’s flowers.”